Nick Saban Calls Out His Biggest Issue With The NIL Era

Alabama Crimson Tide heach coach Nick Saban

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We’re closing in on the second anniversary of the advent of the “NIL Era” that kicked off after the NCAA tried (and disastrously failed) to defend its business model in front of the Supreme Court justices who ripped it apart.

One of the arguments the governing body attempted to use while pleading its case was that fans would no longer have interest in watching college sports if its athletes were permitted to shed their “Amateur” label by profiting off of their name, image, and likeness.

The past couple of years has shown that stance didn’t have much credence. However, it would be foolish to suggest the transition into this new age has been a seamless one, as the endorsement deals that have allowed some star players to rack up millions of dollars have been met with a fair amount of scrutiny.

Nick Saban is just one of many notable names who’s voiced their displeasure with some aspects of the current state of college football.

While the University of Alabama is undoubtedly embracing the fact that NIL deals aren’t going anywhere, Saban has also been very vocal about his unwillingness to engage in some ethically murky behavior more than a few college football programs have embraced with open arms.

The man who’s coached the Crimson Tide since 2007 shed some light on his biggest issue with the status quo during a recent interview with Sports Illustrated where he set his sights on what he positioned as one of his biggest issues: the NIL collectives that have become de facto slush funds in the recruiting game.

Here’s what he had to say:

The issue is, when you create those [collectives] for people, are you establishing a pay-for-play type of environment that can be used in recruiting?

So now, all the sudden, guys are not going to school where they can create the most value for their future. Guys are going to school where they can make the most money. I don’t think that is even the best thing for the player…

I think name, image and likeness is good for players. The whole concept of collectives is what has created this environment that we are in, and I’m not sure that anybody really had the insight or the vision to see that was going to happen.”

Saban suggested a federal law may be needed to bring order to the veritable Wild West the world of college sports is currently navigating, so it doesn’t seem like any real solution is on the immediate horizon.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.